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24th Annual Festival of lights

About The Festival of Lights

The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa - Southern California’s historic AAA-Four Diamond hotel will kick off the holiday season on November 25, 2016 with Festival of Lights a free, six-week-long holiday extravaganza featuring one of the nation's largest holiday light collections of its kind. Now in its 24th year, Festival of Lights is an annual gift to the community from property owners Duane and Kelly Roberts, who saved the historic hotel from destruction in 1992.

The beloved Southern California tradition recently named “Best Public Lights Display in the Nation” by USA Today creates a magical, Disneyland-like experience in the heart of Riverside and attracts more than 250,000 visitors from all over the world each year, commencing with the famous “Switch-On” Ceremony, a spectacular event in which the castle-like hotel is instantly illuminated with nearly 4.5 million holiday lights followed by a full fireworks display.

Highlights of Festival of Lights include more than 400 animated figures including angels, elves and Dickens carolers; appearances by Santa Claus; the world’s largest man-made mistletoe measuring 12’ x 8’; horse-drawn carriage rides; elf tuck-ins; freshly fallen snow; elaborately decorated Christmas trees in the lobby and throughout the hotel; and delectable holiday confections at the famous Casey’s Cupcakes, among other festive offerings. 

New this year, The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa will be offering a gingerbread theme throughout the hotel.  This includes the "Gingerbread Dreams Suite" room package, gingerbread spa treatment at Kelly's Spa, three gingerbread villages located in the lobby, gingerbread turn-down service, gingerbread martini & dessert available in all four of the hotel's restaurants. Casey’s Cupcakes also feature delectable holiday confections to include Glamorous Gingerbread cupcakes.

Those wishing to stay at the historic hotel during Festival of Lights can select from a variety of special room packages. Whether it’s a family tradition, romantic getaway or gathering with friends, The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa makes every stay during Festival of Lights unforgettable.


Award-Winning Dining at The Inn

This holiday season, enjoy specially prepared cuisine as you celebrate the season with family and friends. Exquisite holiday menus, live entertainment, extended hours and festive decor create the perfect recipe for all your holiday celebrations.


Holiday Family Traditions

Santa's Elves Tuck-In

Surprise your child with a personal visit from Santa's Elves.  A jolly elf will deliver a small, present-filled stocking to our young guests. Santa's Elves can tuck your little ones into bed with a bedtime story and wish them sweet dreams.  Includes a keepstake book of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and a delicious Casey's Cupcake.  

Available November 26th Through December 26th. 

Elf Hours: 7:00PM - 10:00PM

• $50 Per Child

*24-hour advance reservations required by calling the Hotel Concierge at 951.341.6701

Santa's Grand Afternoon Tea*

Enchant young visitors with a cheerful Tea Experience hosted by Jolly St. Nick! Unlike any other holiday experience, families will relish the moment where Santa joins for a private visit over holiday tea and invites children to share wishes and dreams. Children and parents alike will enjoy hot cocoa, hand-crafted tea sandwiches and gingerbread cookies.

Saturday, December 17th, 2016 from 2:00 - 4:00 pm

  • Adults: $37 • Children: $25 (11 yrs old and Under) Per Person, All Inclusive

*Advance reservations required, please call 800.843.7755. *Prepayment required at the time of reservation.  Cancellations received less than 72 hours prior to reservation date will be subject to forfeiture of prepayment.

Sunday Champagne Brunch With Santa*

There is nothing grander than indulging in our Sunday Brunch this December with Santa. Our festive holiday decorations will get you in the holiday spirit. Brunch with Santa is a great affair for a family celebration or an office party. Our exquisite brunch buffet features a variety of carved meats, a seafood station and assorted sweets. The children’s station features child-friendly options. Santa will be waiting for you! Champagne and Mimosas also included.

From November 27th - December 18th, 2016

  • Sundays from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm
  • Adults: $48 • Children: $25 (5-11 yrs.) Per Person, Plus Tax & Gratuity

*Advance reservations strongly recommended, please call 800.843.7755. A valid credit card is required at the time of booking for parties of 10 or more to confirm and secure the reservation. Children 4 & under are complimentary.

Breakfast With Santa*

Christmas would not be complete without Breakfast with Santa! A delightful tradition for both children and parents. You will enjoy the spirit of the holiday season at The Mission Inn with this special kid-friendly breakfast. Don’t forget your camera to capture those picture perfect moments with Santa as your children whisper their secret wish lists into his ear.

Saturday, December 17th, 2016 from 8-9:30 am & 10-11:30 am

  • Adults: $34 • Children: $22 (11 yrs old and Under) Per Person, All Inclusive

*Advance reservations required, please call 800.843.7755. *Prepayment required at the time of reservation.  Cancellations received less than 72 hours prior to reservation date will be subject to forfeiture of prepayment.


Room and dining reservations are highly recommended. 

To make your dining reservations, please call 800.843.7755, visit our Concierge desk or through our website at and select the restaurant of your choice.

Dining reservations are being accepted for Las Campanas Mexican Cuisine and Bella Trattoria Italian Bistro for New Year's Eve via Open Table.

Getting Here

Getting to the Festival of Lights

From the 60 Freeway: Exit at Market or Main Street. Turn south towards Downtown and Festival of Lights, approximately 1.2 miles. You can easily access various parking structures/lots, including Lot 33 located on Main St at Third St, Garage 7 located on Sixth St at Fairmount Blvd, or Garage 3 located on Market St between Mission Inn Ave and University Ave.

From the 91 Freeway: Exit Fourteenth Street. Turn west on Fourteenth St and turn right onto Market St towards Downtown and Festival of Lights. There are several lots and structures in close proximity including Garage 6 located at Ninth St at Orange St and Garage 3 on Market St.

Take the Metrolink to the Festival of Lights

NOV. 25 and 26 | DEC. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17

Avoid holiday traffic and take Metrolink special train service to the Mission Inn Hotel and Spa's Festival of Lights on Fridays and Saturdays from Los Angeles and Perris – South to Riverside-Downtown. Dates are November 25 & 26, December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, and 17, 2016. Special Metrolink train service sponsored by Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC).

For More Festival of Lights Metrolink Train Information

Room Packages